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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 3343..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

The survey asks three questions. The first one is: "Thinking about all aspects of your hospital stay, how satisfied are you?"The second question is: "How much do you think you were actually helped by your stay in the hospital?"and "What was the length of time you spent in hospital—too long, too short or about right?"

I am delighted to say that the survey identified a high level of satisfaction—70 per cent—in response to that first question "Thinking about your stay, how satisfied were you?"A further 24 per cent of patients were fairly satisfied, meaning overall—when they combined—94 per cent of patients surveyed were either highly satisfied or fairly satisfied.

Further, 83 per cent of respondents answered that they had spent the right amount of time in hospital and 87 per cent of respondents felt that they were helped a great deal or quite a bit by their hospital stay. Ninety-two per cent of patients responded that they did not have a reason to complain and 25 per cent of respondents stated that they were provided with information about making a formal complaint.

We take these results—this independent survey and feedback from our patients—very seriously. Overall it shows that there is a very high level of satisfaction with how they perceived their stay at the hospital; how they were treated. There is a whole range of different indicators—the respect for cultural or religious needs, their personal safety, courtesy of nurses, respect for privacy, helpfulness of staff, recovery room, courtesy of doctors, clarity of information, help received for your pain, cleanliness of the room, opportunity to ask questions, helpfulness of admission staff, response of staff to health care problems and response time of nurses.

All of these areas showed increases in satisfaction rates from the previous survey. This also indicates the importance of continuing with these surveys, constantly measuring how we provide services, listening to the feedback from patients, and rewarding the staff, because these results are down to the work of staff, who work tirelessly across the Canberra hospital system.

MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how does this data align with previous surveys?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. I have just outlined the areas where there were increases in satisfaction rates, but as is the case in such surveys, when you are looking for improvements in how you provide your service, there are also areas where there were decreases in satisfaction rates. Those do cut right across those areas as well. Of course, we always see some concern around the quality of food and how quiet and restful hospitals are. They are very difficult areas to manage because providing food for such a number of people with different dietary needs three times a day means that the food in hospital is often quite bland, because it needs to be, and this does not always please patients in hospital.

There is also the matter of how busy a hospital is. Because it is a 24/7 operation it means that often it is not the quietest place to stay, and people can have trouble in terms of finding their stay relaxing. We need to look at that. I think our billion-dollar,

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